Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
123 registered (accordeur, anotherscott, Auver, 36251, 39 invisible), 1436 Guests and 21 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Page 3 of 8 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >
Topic Options
#927625 - 11/28/08 05:57 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11846
Loc: Canada
Chris, I see the article as saying that one can problem solve the practicing situation when there may be causes by looking at specific angles. He mentions breaking down tasks into attainable goals, parental involvement, that a lack of tools (reading) might make practicing an impossible chore etc. An inexperienced teacher might find such ideas a helpful starting point. I've known this site several years and I like it. On the student side there are the "practice hats" - they're fantastic!

Praise: If general I don't care much for it. Specific positive things are useful: If my articulation is spot on and you like it, I can make a mental note to keep this strong. I also find a tendency to practice toward an image, so the word "sloppy" may create this, while "clearly" will give me a good image to aim for. It is only recently that I realized that I have never heard a negative image described by my teacher: only what to improve toward.

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#927626 - 11/29/08 03:50 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Chris, I see the article as saying that one can problem solve the practicing situation when there may be causes by looking at specific angles. He mentions breaking down tasks into attainable goals, parental involvement, that a lack of tools (reading) might make practicing an impossible chore etc. An inexperienced teacher might find such ideas a helpful starting point. I've known this site several years and I like it. On the student side there are the "practice hats" - they're fantastic!
[/b]
Yes, it is a nice site. It's just some of the assumptions made in that particular article that I have a problem with.

Most of us do all these things already. We give praise and encouragement, we aim to develop good practice habits and help our students as much as possible. And yet we all have students who don't practice.

When I talk to my students about why they don't practice the number one answer is:

"I have not had time".

As little as 10 years ago I didn't hear that very often. Unfortunatley it is a sign of the times. As a teacher I don't feel that there is much I can do about it. If you don't have time then you don't have time! Either you make time or you have to accept that you won't make any progress.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#927627 - 11/29/08 05:36 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11846
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
As little as 10 years ago I didn't hear that very often. Unfortunately it is a sign of the times.
I wonder what it is about "the times" that is causing this?

Top
#927628 - 11/29/08 06:27 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Chris, I'm not sure I want to enter this fray, but cannot resist a comment.

HS aged students don't have to be mollycoddled (with exceptions, of course). I put it to them point blank: you have the time to do what you want to do, so please don't insult me and your intelligence with excuses. You analyze your day, you decide what is important. If you want to be very accomplished at the piano, you need to find a minimum of 2 hrs a day, on average, through the week. If you want to be top notch, you need to find more. If you want to progress slowly, but continue anyway, you can get by on less. You decide, discuss it with your parents, and I'll support your decision. And, if you need to discuss priorities with someone besides mom and dad, I'll be more than happy to listen. But if there is truly no time to practice, then you need to be honest with yourself and your parents about continuing music lessons

Middle school aged students are a whole different ball game. They generally need some hand holding, but, they, too, need to understand that their action or inaction have consequences. To help them, and also some less mature HS students, I've had them make a day planner and record time spent at each task through the day and week. Usually, this alone is quite a revelation and is often enough to solve the practice problem.

ES students are still very fragile and need a lot of hand holding. Some of what Johnston says is useful, but I find the number one problem for ES students is parental overkill. That is, they are spread too thin, and have a hard time stopping parenting activities, perhaps for siblings, to sit with student and guide their practice. It's really understandable that mom cannot sit with junior while younger brother draws on the wall, sister is wetting her pants for the 3rd time this week, cat is careening through the house, and the pot roast in the oven is about to burn.

I think we as teachers need to accept the fact that often, the parents are not agreed on many many basics of child rearing, and especially, involvement in the arts. I hate to generalize, because someone will call me on it, but generally, I find that mom's are more invested in the child's artistic development (in our family, it was, of course, reversed) and dad's are more concerned with the practical. This actually makes a lot of sense if you take the broader view but the consequence for the student is conflicting values and priorities. Sometimes, I can help the student, but often, I cannot.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#927629 - 11/29/08 06:29 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Keystring, your pm came through to me but I am not one of the other two messages you have had.

I think that people are genuinely busier now than they have ever been. Maybe there is just more for kids to do than there used to be. They have no time because they (and their parents) choose to fill every minute with a variety of activities. I remember practicing the piano as a kid because I had nothing else to do. There was no suitable TV for kids after 5pm and we didn't have all these games consoles. There were no after school activities every day. We would rarely go away at weekends and shops were not open on Sunday.

Most kids now are happy to provide you with full details of what they do in their free time. Sometimes they do this with a smug grin as if to say "You can't blame me!". They claim that it's impossible to even find five minutes. The number of kids like this is growing, at least where I live.

Then there is this business of praising them and telling them they are wonderful no matter what. Why should they put any effort in? They will get the grades and the certificates anyway. I have just phoned round my students to inform them of their success in exams. They all passed with merits and distinctions. Of course I am pleased (relieved!) and it does me no harm but I can honestly say that some did not deserve those marks IMO. It makes me look like a grouch when I have been on their backs for the past few weeks about practice and then they score 90% despite putting in little effort. The trouble is that this only happens in the world of kids. When they reach adulthood they will have a rude awakening.

Danny said he didn't like being told what to do and if anything it would make him more reluctant. Well guess what? When you grow up and get a job your boss will tell you what to do. If you don't do it you get fired. Welcome to the real world.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#927630 - 11/29/08 06:41 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
John, I agree with everything you said. I am not looking to blame anyone. The reasons for not practicing are no mystery. What I disagree with is this:

"The not so nice way of putting it is that if you have a student who is not practising, it’s because you’ve missed something."

I also object to the opening statement in that article. I find it insulting and condescending.

"Music teachers don't need to read this."

As if we all have our heads stuck up our own ****.

Then to say that if a kid has only practiced a few notes and even they are wrong you still have to praise their fingering!!!

Come on.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#927631 - 11/29/08 06:44 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Chris, I caught an interesting sidelight on this, I think it was in the Wall Street Journal. Basically, it said that younger workers, under the age of 30, are demanding almost constant performance reviews, and detailed instructions of what the boss wants. Could it be our educational systems are sucking students dry of initiative and at the same time, leave them craving constant performance feedback?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#927632 - 11/29/08 07:16 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Absolutely.

The syllabus for most school subjects is prescriptive and rigid. And of course we have to measure, evaluate, assess progress at every opportunity. Test scores and exam results are then used to assess the competence of the teacher or the effectiveness of a school. It's no wonder that these results get distorted.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#927633 - 11/29/08 02:40 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
I wanted to recommend a very interesting article I've just read:

Why Students don\'t Practice?[/b] [/b]
Read the article and I think it's missing on important part. Let's put the responsibility of practice squarely on the shoulders of parents. That's also why when a student starts, we need to warn the parents that this is not going to be entirely easy on them, the parent!

Teachers need to make that phone call to the parent! Parents have to start motivating their children by taking things away until practice is resumed! Start taking away their computer, TV, Xbox, whatever. That's a good start! More times than not, it's the parent who quits, not the student. Parenting is hard work!

In no time flat (or sharp!) you will see the student start a habit of practiing.

For example, I would speed if it wasn't for the policeman! He motivates me by taking away my money if I don't obey his rules! \:D
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


Top
#927634 - 11/29/08 07:02 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
When I talk to my students about why they don't practice the number one answer is:

"I have not had time".
I hear the same thing, but I don't believe it was different 10 years ago, not where I live. \:\)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#927635 - 11/30/08 03:02 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
It's been the same song and dance for as long as I can remember!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#927636 - 11/30/08 02:16 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Diane...:

For example, I would speed if it wasn't for the policeman! He motivates me by taking away my money if I don't obey his rules! \:D [/b]
Diane,
Let me digress a moment, I promise I'll get back on point.

You have demonstrated a theory of criminology called rational choice, based on writings of Jeremy Bentham a couple centuries back. Most criminal justice systems are based on it, despite the fact that at the time there was no evidence for it, and since then there has developed abundant evidence against it. This common sense idea is that the criminal does a cost benefit analysis, weighing the gain he'll get from a criminal act against the chance of getting caught and the degree of punishment if he gets caught. Small gain, high risk, don't do it; large gain, small risk, take the chance; large gain, large risk, gets complicated. So the way to prevent crime, if that's your goal, is increase the chance of getting caught and increase the penalty when caught.

And it doesn't work, has never worked, because the premise is false.

And the same is true for you. When you're at church, and your friends' handbags are unattended, you steal from them, right? Why not? Plenty of gain, no cops around, no chance of getting caught. Yet you don't do it. You don't do the cost benefit analysis, because you and your friends share a common mindset that this behavior is one you don't do. Basically you don't steal because your peer group doesn't steal. Criminals DO steal, not because it pays but because they and their peer group share a value system. They don't do cost benefit any more than you do. You do speed when you aren't likely to get caught, but that's because to you and your friends speeding isn't a sin.

Kids that grow up in a system where everybody works out don't do so because exercise is going to give them longer lives, etc. They do so largely because their friends do. The best way to get them to practise is somehow develop a shared value structure such that practice is a worthy activity regardless of the benefits.

Not easy, perhaps. Especially since few parents demonstrate taking the time to practice. (I do. And it hasn't seemed to rub off on the kids much. So this theory is still in the developmental stage). But I think the cost-benefit approach that is standard is bound to fail. If you practice x hours, you'll develop y amount of skill. Sounds good superficially, but those kids may not intend to become skilled, and many parents aren't really intending to buy skill training, but a broader concept of music appreciation/education anyway.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#927637 - 12/01/08 02:24 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
William A.P.M. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 554
Loc: Ecuador
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
It's been the same song and dance for as long as I can remember! [/b]
I can also agree, however, I don't share the experience that others have pertaining to students not practicing. What I do think is that students who really aspire to becoming pianists will take practicing more seriously and actually care more for it. If a student , no matter how advanced , is not practicing, I don't think that student will go far, and he/she probably does not see piano as the ultimate goal.

Top
#927638 - 12/01/08 08:53 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by William Penafiel:
I can also agree, however, I don't share the experience that others have pertaining to students not practicing. What I do think is that students who really aspire to becoming pianists will take practicing more seriously and actually care more for it. If a student , no matter how advanced , is not practicing, I don't think that student will go far, and he/she probably does not see piano as the ultimate goal. [/b]
That seems like a relaxing and liberating approach to dealing with a perennial discussion topic.

I think you're basically right. But with maybe one risk.

I agree that the majority of students and parents don't see a high degree of piano skill as the ultimate goal. They may still get large benefits from lessons at a rather low level of practice, leaving parent and student happy but teacher frustrated.

And I agree that the dedicated few are going to ensure they get the practice done and will make progress.

Where I think there may be a risk is in two areas. One is for your average unmotivated student who might have self converted into a dedicated student if he'd had just a little more success, caused by a little more serious practice. The other is for your already dedicated student who wasn't raised in a practice culture, and has only a superficial understanding of how hard he has to work.

My own kids did their math without prompting but had to be nagged to practice. Why? Well, the grade of course, but I don't think it's as straightforward as a cost/benefit decision. Kids don't do that. The mediating factor is a shared group ethic that homework had to get done. I wish I could take credit for it but I really don't know where it came from.

How to build that group practice mentality is a problem. Magnet schools, maybe?
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#927639 - 12/01/08 01:48 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
TimR,
you said "the grade" as an incentive for your kids. What do you mean? Are their piano lessons part of their schooling? Do teachers here actually grade their students (as in report card type grading)?

Top
#927640 - 12/01/08 01:53 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
According to John's comments just above, reviews and instructions needed.....

Maybe what is lacking is "instinct".

Teach them some "instinct".

How to get started! How to know if anything was accomplished in practicing! What is practicing anyway? How to have a practice plan for each day and each piece!

Practice requires acting on something. Action!

Teachers teach! Students learn!

Somebody has to start the game.

Top
#927641 - 12/01/08 05:48 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Highlander One Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Texas
I don't believe that "instinct" is a teachable thing.

H1
_________________________
Piano Sales since 1992
Piano study since 1969
Piano teacher since 1992
Touring musician since 1985
Studio musician since 1996
I Love the Piano

Top
#927642 - 12/01/08 06:20 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
Maybe they are bored \:\( need to mix in some contemporary music that they may prefer. I hated going to lessons, so I decided to stop them, and just taught myself \:\) Teachers spend too much time focusing on old boring learning techniques, people want to play what they hear, not just what they see on the written score. Teach them to play by ear as well as reading music, which is pointless anyway, as you never see concert pianists sight reading music when they are playing, they commit the score to memory, never understood the point of trying to read music whilest playing piano, well certainly for the most complex pieces anyway.
_________________________
www.youtube.com/ukpiano

Top
#927643 - 12/01/08 09:01 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally posted by mwf:
Teachers spend too much time focusing on old boring learning techniques[/b]
Generalisation. Some teachers may spend too much time etc...

people want to play what they hear[/b]
Generalisation. Some people want to play what they hear. Some are very keen to learn to read music. Some actually want to do both and many teachers teach both. Sounds like you may have been unlucky in your choice of teacher.

reading music, which is pointless anyway, as you never see concert pianists sight reading music when they are playing, they commit the score to memory, never understood the point of trying to read music whilest playing piano, well certainly for the most complex pieces anyway.[/b]
You have to read the score first in order to commit it to memory. The task is much quicker if your reading is fluent.
Solo pianists do not tend to use the music in performing, but ensemble pianists and chamber musicians use it all the time. You don't have time to memorise a dozen pieces in a week. But I often have to play that number of totally new (to me) pieces in a short space of time. No way to do it if you don't read well.
Many of the people we teach will end up doing lots of ensemble type playing (church playing, accompanying choirs etc) - they will be seriously up the creek without a paddle if they don't read adequately.

Many many people say to me "I'd like to be able to pick up a piece of music and play it". This is a perfectly achievable goal, and it's not at all "pointless". Don't you see the point in being able to flick through a piece of music and play it well enough to know whether you want to spend time working on it?

You personally may choose to not focus on reading music. That's your choice. But realise that there are many things you will miss out on. They may be things you're not interested in doing - but just because they're not doesn't make them "pointless" to millions of other people.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#927644 - 12/01/08 11:54 PM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
Allow me to summarize a little.

A rather superficial point of view is that if you or someone don't practice it's because you or he/shec don't/doesn't do it for the sake of not doing it. I don't believe in doing things for the sake of it. I believe in finding motivations and reasons.

I think it's rather ironic that most of those students blamed to be lazy, are actually perfectly willing to spend their time with activities that hare harder and need more effort than piano practicing.

Can we recognize motivations for not practicing and putting them into context?

1) Laziness.

What is laziness by the way? Most people with CFS have been accused of being lazy at some point in their life. I tend to think that laziness is intellectual boredom or even physical exhaustation. Take whatever person on the face of the eart and invite him to lay down on the sofa while you do everything. Count three days and this person will beg you to involve him in some kind of activity. Doing is absolutely natural to us like breathing is. Laziness is not a sin, it is a symptom of a more deep malaise. The more I read book about lower-carb diets and the impact of high-glycemic diet on our body, the more I get convinced that physical laziness could be completely erased from today's youth with proper diet and exercising.

2) TV, videogames, computer.

First of all I don't consider spending time with videogames or computer a sign of laziness. Videogames for example require coordination, reflexed. Trying to reach the next level equates to practicing, often with its frustration and challenges. But I know well that computers, videogames and television can be addictive.
Let's gives semantis a lone and ignore for a moment the argument according to which only physical substances can produce addictions.
I have read many interview of ex medias addicted who had all the symptoms of clear addictions. Expecially this forgetting about all the rest (including eating and sleeping in extreme cases) as in a sort of trance. Media addicted are heterogeneous from 8 to 80 year old. The solution to this problem deserve a bit more of intellectual effort and depth than simply removing these items as a "punition" of "evil kids" who can't "behave". As if the parents themselves had control over these medias and weren't themselves victims.

Actually a problem I have with all the arguments that parents should discipline their children in the most cruelest and mediocre ways, is the fact that the parents themselves often are undisciplined and not able to "force" another person to do the right thing when they often don't do the right thing or ignore what the right thing is. I don't say this to be polemic, it's just the love for truth. The sheperds would say "the sheperd dog keeps on eye on the sheep, who keeps an eye on the sheperd dog?". Parenthood is constantly irrationally being reinvented in the modern era, contradictions abund and parents are invested of super human power and responsabilities. To the point that nowadays parenting is considered a "job" and disagreement in how to "raise" a child is the first cause of divorce. These are all very exploitable modern myths. To the extent that a human being can actually be "raised" it is done mainly by himself and the community and natural world at large with whom he interacts. Just a century ago parenting was a pretty straight-forward natural concept, not fraught with pitfalls and dangers; the youngers and the olders shared similar aspectations, values and faith.

3) Lack of motivation.

One motivation is worth twenty threats, fifteen pressure and ten reminders. Our mind keeps a strong hierarchy of priorities. Our mind is fuel by necessity, everything we learn and become able to do is the product of a necessity.
Our mind hates things for the sake of themselves, have vacumm and hates notions that are not necessary solutions. That's why it is so smart to "never memorize" what just doesn't make sense and has no purpose in our environment and life.

The motivation isn't supposed to be something external, disconnected to the real reasoun you're pursuing something. Music learning has all the intrinsic motivation any person would ever need.
Practicing needs to be motivated. But we can't close the case by simply claiming that you need practice to improve, end of story. Students need to be intellectually challenged. They need to see the direct link between creating analytical moments in our day, and the improvement in our playing. Practicing needs to be explained and motivated with the same elegance of sport practicing. Necessity, motivation, effort. There's no way to short-circuit this progression.
Without necessity there's no motivation, without motivation there's no justified willingness to effort.

All this finding tricks to bypass the need for motivation and the need for necessity, expecially with the superificial mean of punishment (no matter how subtly concealed, punishment is punishment) doesn't seem like the right answer and lacks the sophistication and elaboration the right answer desperatly needs.

4) Lack of understanding

It's hard to apply effort in something we have not understood. If I said you to "go X and do X" and you can't decipher the X, chances are you will just give up, instinctively, and will devote your effort to something less cryptic.
Sometimes we give for granted that "go and practice" is all we need to say about practicing. But I assure you for example that if someone told you "go and workout" you would have 0% of the notions and elaborations required to understand the process of working out, hence required to fell necessity, motivation and a need for a conscious effort.

5) Lack of a structure

Practicing is when we ask a student to self-structure his or her free time. The problem (expecially with younger students) is that we live in a society that usually prevents people (expecially young) from self-managing their time.
Institution and other experts do the work of them and in the case of children, they're often prevented from taking responsaibilities and developing good judgment about their lives.
We're giving a freedom whic is often denied in society to students. This is good, expect that we can't expect someone to react so promptly to a sudden bout of freedom, just like we couln't expect black slaves to learn to read in a couple of days after they left the cotton fields.

Kreisler has proven that when you provide some structure allowing for enough freedom but also guidance, with the possibilities of increasing individual choices over one's practice as one gets used to the whole process, helps to get rid of so many "misdiagnosed" laziness.

 Quote:
Interesting article. I suppose it could work for a minority of students but I can't help feeling that this kind of liberal view has contributed towards the gradual decline in standards over the years.

I give praise when it's due. Sometimes it is for the slightest improvement. But generally if you praise a student who has done nothing then they will simply feel that it is acceptable to do nothing.
[/b]

I don't think the author of the article wants fake praised to be invented. But what he is saying is that we can focus on the good rather on the bad. A similar philosophy can be applied to life. I see you focus on the good rather than the bad you might realize your life is not that bad and you're not that unlucky after all.
I have lost 10 dollars. They could have been 100 dollars. I have missed the train. I have met a nice person while waiting for the next.
Is the glass half empty or half full?
What he is saying, and I agree with, is that with leaners (of every kind) and learning in general, the half full glass is the best approach.

Criticism should never be harsh and querulous.
Kindness and respect can be seen found even in criticism as long as it is constructive, not an excuse for personal venting. A learner needs a model more than it needs an harsh critic.

Top
#927645 - 12/02/08 12:18 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Danny, I sure hope you own a sail, because you sure are long winded! :p

Okay, I used the speeding example because it's just human nature to do what we want to do instead of doing what we should do! That being said, I understand that the policeman has my best interests in mind and he does not exactly want to see me wrapped around a tree!

So my point is that kids need to be shown how to organize their time. With the help of a parent/s who have that students' best interests in mind. Practicing takes discipline, AND students need to practice when they aren't dead-dog tired.

There are so many variables to be taken into consideration here, and because kids are so individual, the main point is that studying anything takes work at some point. I have parents who would like their kids to stop talking piano because that student is involved in so many other activities but the student won't give it up. Other students run the home because their parents are not acting as parents.

So my point is this. If students were asked if they would rather not attend school, schools would be empty!

Organization is key and students might be able to handle organizing their lives, but if not, that's where the parent who has their best interests in mind, can give guidance in helping the student to organize their schedule to include piano practice!

Learning to organize even a busy schedule can give one more free time, but more importantly, it's learned! Hopefully by a parent!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


Top
#927646 - 12/02/08 02:26 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Quite agree Diane,

Regarding your comment about "organized" ... but don’t for goodness sake convey this good advice to your student ... otherwise you’ll lose them ... playing the piano should always be fun ... when the piano teacher unsuspectingly programmes the element of discipline into studies, the student gains on all fronts.

You’re so right in commenting that some chaps overburden the post with irresolute verbosity ... some of us never read such bleat ... a sure sign that the chappie (like Hamlet) can’t make up his mind ... and eventually gets pretty well the whole cast knocked off.

Top
#927647 - 12/02/08 07:02 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
Thats the problem with you teachers... you are so opinionated, you dont understand your students properly, if they did not practice enough its because they are not finding what your are setting them interesting enough, simple. You need to change things, adapt to their needs and desires.

As teachers could you tell me how to play pieces without mistakes??? On a serious note, I keep playing pieces, particulary by Bach, and I miss the odd note here and there, how do I stop this, and make it perfect, teach me that one \:\) please.
_________________________
www.youtube.com/ukpiano

Top
#927648 - 12/02/08 07:24 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
mwf, so you want $1,000 knowledge for free? \:D

Actually, the answer is already in these pages.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#927649 - 12/02/08 07:29 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11846
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
if they did not practice enough its because they are not finding what your are setting them interesting enough, simple.
Preserve me from the teacher whose first goal is to follow my interests and wishes, and tries to make it "interesting" on that plane! My interest lies in what I do not yet know, what I have not yet imagined, and how to do things that I do not yet know how to do. If my lessons are limited to where I am already, what's the point?

*Some* students might want this, but not all.

Top
#927650 - 12/02/08 07:46 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11846
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Teachers spend too much time focusing on old boring learning techniques, people want to play what they hear, not just what they see on the written score. Teach them to play by ear as well as reading music, which is pointless anyway
As an adult student, I am concerned when I see teachers being told what ** we ** want. Because so many of us do want that kind of teaching, chances are that when it's my turn to take lessons, I will be addressed in that manner too. If we have never been taught before, we will believe that this is what music lessons are about, and not realize we're missing out on something.

I am interested * in particular * in learning technique, as well as the theory and history that will enable me to play the instrument and the music well. But I may fall in with a teacher who will give these things short shrift, because of the perception of what many students want. I have decided that if I begin lessons on a new instrument, I must be proactive and actually state that I want what is necessary - I will not leave this to chance.

Mwf, have you had a chance to read the two surveys among adult students? One was done by a teacher, and another one was done by a student. Both of them addressed what we actually want, what we found lacking, drawing on our personal experiences. You will find boring technique as well as theory, and organization to lessons, as priorities among many adult students.

Top
#927651 - 12/02/08 07:57 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
 Quote:
if they did not practice enough its because they are not finding what your are setting them interesting enough, simple.
Preserve me from the teacher whose first goal is to follow my interests and wishes, and tries to make it "interesting"[/b]
He is right. The material must be interesting motivating and stimulating. But there's a big difference between making things fakely interesting by using cliches (turning everything into a game, talking down to the student, never challenging the student's mind) and making thing genuinely intellectually interesting. Interesting also means challenging, also means demanding and also means complex. What is needed is putting the whole teaching material into context.
Necessity -> motivation - > effort.

This actually IS making things interesting.

Young children lose their interest when something is not interesting and yet they can spend two hours staring at a fish bowl. It is actually the watered down child friendly nonsense which kills their interest not the complexity and intricacies of life wonders.

There's this misconception that challenging must be synonim with boring. But boredom is not acceptable, nothing should ever be boring. If any kind of material happens to be perceived as boring it should not exist and be removed from the face of the earth. The myth that we must suck it up and suffer through boring material in order to learn anything worthy is, in my opinion, the most dangerous one. Not even cryptic concepts should be boring. Hard, challenging, complex, engaging, dense, thick are all ways to mean "requiring effort" and what requires effort can't be boring. Boring effort or engaging boredom are oxymorons.

Top
#927652 - 12/02/08 08:23 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
I don't find listening to the same old excuses week after week very interesting or stimulating.

It really doesn't take much to work out why a student is not practicing. A few simple questions will get to the bottom of it. Then you can advise them on what to do about it but at the end of the day that is all you can do. You can't physically do the practice for them. You either accept what they do (or don't for whatever reason) and work with it or you tell them to go elsewhere.

All this talk about what is or isn't interesting is very interesting. In order to find something interesting you have to be interested. You could get the most dynamic and innovative teacher to teach me about needlework and it would be pointless. I'm not interested. It's not their fault and there is nothing they could do about it. I have known plenty of piano students who feel the same way about piano as I do about needlework.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#927653 - 12/02/08 08:26 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Danny, just because someone says or thinks something is boring doesn't mean it actually is boring.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#927654 - 12/02/08 08:43 AM Re: How can I help my students when they don't practice???
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
 Quote:
Originally posted by chueh:
I told both the students and the parents that practicing every single day is very important. However, parents say that they have too much homework already from the schools. Sometimes they finish their homework after 9pm. I don't really know what's going on. Perhaps, the students are doing something else before 8 pm, and then do their homework. Thus, there is no time for practicing piano. I am not sure, really. However, I told them that even just 5 minutes EVERYDAY helps refreshing everything and keeps things flow.
[/b]
This is the reason why they are getting nowhere.

NOT because the teaching is not stimulating.

NOT because the material is boring.

NOT because they don't understand what to do.

These kids have no support in learning the piano. Of course they are not interested or motivated, why should they be? Piano is just something else in the long line of activities in which kids like this take part once a week. Sounds to me like it's pretty far down the list of priorities at that. I am afraid that there is nothing any teacher could do.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
Page 3 of 8 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
- > Gift Ideas for Music Lovers < -
From PianoSupplies.com a division of Piano World.
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Experienced pianist: digital piano to "replace" grand
by integris
Today at 05:39 PM
why do I suddenly have clacking bass notes
by music32
Today at 04:57 PM
Kawai Digital Piano
by Deegs23
Today at 03:28 PM
A new clip of the great Don Pullen in action
by rintincop
Today at 01:41 PM
A new clip of the great Don Pullen in action
by rintincop
Today at 01:38 PM
Forum Stats
77340 Members
42 Forums
159960 Topics
2349165 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission